Heroic Father of Two Saves Lives in Lebanese Terrorist Attack

Residents of South Beirut try to make sense of what happened.

Yesterday, international correspondents broke the news of a massive terrorist attack in Southern Beirut, Lebanon.  43 people were killed, and 239 wounded, along with extensive property damage, in the double-bomb explosion.

According to Lebanese police, the ISIS terrorists had planned to set off four explosions, for which they had recruited 4 suicide bombers, each wearing an explosive apparatus on his chest.  The first 2 terrorists perished setting off their explosive vests.  The third terrorist died in the explosion of the second terrorist, as I recount below, without having the opportunity to set off his vest.  The fourth terrorist, a Lebanese national from Tripoli, Libya, chickened out, fled the scene, and is now in police custody, singing like a canary.

In my post, I want to concentrate on a sidebar to this story, which I saw in LifeNews.  This is the story of a heroic man who gave his life to prevent the final death toll from rising even higher.

ISIS vs Hezbollah?

Western media such as CNN and Reuters focus on the fact that South Beirut is “Hezbollah-friendly” territory.  The propaganda slant is subtle, but it is there, usually right there in the first paragraph, for example, in the Reuters piece:  “At least 43 people were killed and more than 240 wounded on Thursday in two suicide bomb blasts claimed by Islamic State in a crowded residential district in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a stronghold of the Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah.”

Yup, they manage to slip in the words “Shiite” and “Hezbollah” right there in the first paragraph.  The not-so-subtle message is that ISIS is somehow targeting Hezbollah.  And this is even true, in a way.  But this slant lends the terrorist acts a molecule of legitimacy (since Hezbollah is a military organization), and deflects seamlessly from the main point, namely:  That ISIS is actually targeting ordinary people who are out shopping and sitting in coffee shops, or visiting their local mosque.  And this is the hallmark of true terrorism:  the terrorists almost always attack the average Joe, who is just going about his business.

The two explosions occurred at 6:00 PM local time.  This is the “peak” hour in the bustling neighborhoods of South Beirut; the bombers obviously counted on the fact that the streets would be full of ordinary people doing ordinary things.  Nearby is the Shiite Mosque called Ain es Sikka, along with a popular shopping center called “Al-Mansur”.

The 4 suicide bombers had arrived on scooters, a common means of transportation in this bustling city.  People are used to seeing the postmen riding on scooters, and apparently the bombers were dressed in postal uniforms.  This disguise allowed them to get past all checkpoints without being stopped.

The first explosion was set off near the Mosque.

As per their usual plan, the terrorists were going to wait until more people came running into the area, to help the wounded.  Then they were going to set off the second explosion in the same place and garner more civilian casualties.

But their plan was changed, and the number of casualties mitigated, by the actions of a heroic man named Adel Turmus.

Adel’s Heroism

Adel was sitting in a coffee shop at the time of the first explosion.  He looked up and saw the second suicide bomber.  The terrorist stood out in the crowd like a sore thumb:  very thin and wearing several layers of clothing.  A suspicious Adel took action instantly:  he directly approached the terrorist and forcibly led him away from the crowd.  At that moment (this was exactly 7 minutes after the first explosion), the terrorist’s bomb went off, killing  not only himself and Adel, but also a THIRD suicide bomber, who was also standing nearby.  The third bomber died, without having his own equipment set off.

All of this was told to LifeNews by an eye-witness named Mahmoud, the owner of one of the coffee shops in the area.  An agitated Mahmoud can be seen in the LifeNews video.

Adel Turmus left behind two children:  a boy and a girl.  The children will grow up without their father, but at least they will know that their papa died a hero.  Thousands of people already have written words of gratitude and condolence on Adel’s Social-Media page.

Fanfare for the Common Man

The accompanying video in LifeNews shows scenes of the carnage, and then at 00:28 seconds in, we see the interview with Mahmoud, the coffee-shop owner.  Then shots of the motor-scooters on which the terrorists cruised into the neighborhood.  Then back to Mahmoud, who tells the story of Adel’s beau geste.  At 1:44 minutes in, we see heartbreaking photos of Adel and his children from their social media site.  Adel has a broad friendly face, one of those typical Arabic faces, ringed by fearsome eyebrows which perhaps hint at his inner strength.  This is the face of a man who does not hesitate when he knows what he has to do.

This entry was posted in Breaking News, Human Dignity, The Great Game, True Crime and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Heroic Father of Two Saves Lives in Lebanese Terrorist Attack

  1. Cortes says:

    Many thanks to for posting this, Yalensis. May his children blossom and prosper.


  2. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    A favourite tactic of theirs ever since the old days when they were just the plain old Islamic State of Iraq.

    That little bit of background information tends not to find its way into Reuters articles about IS – well, we wouldn’t people being reminded where this outfit came from, would we?


  3. Jen says:

    Thanks Yalensis, for a heartwarming post on Adel.

    As you note, in Lebanon an area called a “stronghold of Hezbollah” nearly always means an area where working-class people live and work. Hezbollah is analogous to Western political parties like Ireland’s Sinn Fein of old (whose military arm was the Irish Republican Army) and also runs social and medical services, schools for children and provides financial help and support for widows and their children, especially those families whose husbands and fathers have died in the service of Hezbollah itself or in war. The organisation even has branches involved in constructing houses or rebuilding them, and environmental restoration (especially tree-planting; cedar trees are special to Lebanese people and I believe one features on the Lebanese flag). We can assume that Hezbollah will come to the rescue of Adel’s family and give them what they need.

    The presence of a mosque in the neighbourhood is neither here nor there; communities and urban districts are nearly always built around mosques or other religious buildings in the Middle East. Social and community activities and small business usually cluster around mosques. It’s the tradition when building mosques, that a hospital, school, soup kitchen and other buildings to provide social welfare are built along with them, and bazaars for small businesses may be built close by. This used to be no different in the pre-industrial West where the focus of community life was a public square and one side of it was where a church or cathedral stood.

    The fact that ISIS targets working-class / lower middle class people suggests this outfit is a neo-fascist front acting on behalf of corporate / oligarch interests. If ISIS were as revolutionary as it claims to be, it would leave working-class people alone and terrorise the rich and pampered instead. It would be targeting banks, corporate headquarters and politicians.

    Also when terrorist acts occur in Lebanon, especially in places south of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley around the Litani River in particular, there’s always the possibility that Israel might be behind them. Calling such incidents ISIS-related deflects attention away from Israel and stokes fear.


    • yalensis says:

      Excellent points all, Jen.
      I have to admit, that this post was an emotional one for me.
      And yes, I would definitely qualify ISIS as a “fascist” type of political organization. In that they serve oligarchs and the “masters of the universe”.
      Nonetheless, the common man always perseveres, that is the law of human nature.


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